[Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, May 10, 2006]
The Regional Water Quality Control Board is scheduled to vote today on whether to accept the recommendation of its staff and approve a permit that would allow Mirant Corp. to continue operating its Potrero power plant in San Francisco out of compliance with environmental standards until June 30, 2011. The board should reject the permit.
[Originally published in the Aug. 17-23, 2005 edition of the San Francisco Bay Guardian.]
IN A RECENT guest editorial for the San Francisco Chronicle, John Garamendi, a potential candidate for lieutenant governor, endorsed a plan to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir for the purpose of restoring the granite valley to what it was nearly a century ago. Garamendi’s endorsement aims to add heft to what had been a lightly regarded proposal and to elevate the profile of a seemingly appealing, frightfully bad idea to one worthy of consideration by California voters and policy makers.
By Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, January 3, 2005]
When Ronald Reagan used his 1983 State of the Union Address to foreshadow a sweeping proposal to devolve vast powers from the federal government back to states and localities, he described his New Federalism initiative as an effort “to restore to states and local governments their roles as dynamic laboratories of change in a creative society.”
[Originally published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal, November 22, 2004]
FOR THE 48 percent of American voters justifiably concerned about Bush administration claims to an electoral “mandate” as a result of the Nov. 2 election, last week presented still another example of political arrogance, this one far more troubling.
[Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 2003]
Far from the wild-eyed, socialistic power-grab routinely portrayed by well-funded political campaigns over the years, public power in San Francisco is a civic principle firmly enshrined by City Charter. As section 16. 101 states: “It is the declared purpose and intention of the people of the city and county, when public interest and necessity demand, that public utilities shall be gradually acquired and ultimately owned by the city and county.”
[Originally published by the San Francicso Bay Guardian, November 19, 2003]
When then acting mayor Chris Daly made two controversial appointments to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Oct. 22 while Mayor Willie Brown was traveling in Tibet, it marked the beginning of a media frenzy that has even now scarcely begun to subside.
By John Russo, Dennis Herrera & Rocky Delgadillo
[Originally published in the Alameda Times-Star, Oakland Tribune and Daily Journals, July 5, 2003]
Consider this: a young, single man living in Oakland’s upscale Montclair district pays $3,400 per year for car insurance. But if that same driver, with the same driving record and number of years behind the wheel, moved five miles down the hill to the predominantly Latino Fruitvale neighborhood, he would pay $1,000 more for the same insurance.
by Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2003]
I was re-reading “The Mayor of Castro Street” last winter when the theme was announced for the 2003 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade and Celebration this weekend. It was a signature line from Harvey Milk’s political career: “You’ve gotta give them hope.”
By Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 9, 2003]
When San Francisco filed suit against gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers four years ago, there was no guarantee our case would prevail. We were fortunate, however, to be joined by 11 other local governments in California in what has been one of the most important cases to face the gun industry.
By Dennis Herrera
[Originally published in Windows on the Waterfront, February 2003]
To those of us with family and friends living on the East Coast, it’s been a difficult winter to avoid gloating about the relative good fortune we enjoy here in San Francisco. Sure, we’ve endured a few big rainstorms during the fall and early winter, but El Nino seems fairly tame compared to the fierce wintry onslaught that pummeled our easterly fellow citizens. Not that we’re unsympathetic, of course. But let’s face it-there isn’t a non-native one of us who doesn’t enjoy hearing a little envy from the hometowns we left behind. There’s certainly no harm in thinking that winter weather is just one more reason we’ve got it better here, right?